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Erectile dysfunction, an inability to develop or maintain an erection of the penis during sexual performance, is one of the most unpleasant health problems men can ever experience. Erectile dysfunction can have severe psychological consequences and affect patient’s self-image or his ability to maintain healthy relationships. Erectile dysfunction, also known as male impotence, affects men of all ages. It is estimated that around 30 million Americans suffer from some sort of erectile dysfunction, at any given point in time.

Sometimes, the male impotence is caused by some other underlying problems but it can also occur as a result of different lifestyle habits. Fortunately, in many cases, erectile dysfunction is reversible and relatively easy to cure, as soon as man becomes aware of the problem and tries to do something about it.

Causes of erectile dysfunction

Erectile dysfunction is caused either by other medical problems or because of certain lifestyle habits. Health conditions associated with male impotence are various neurogenic disorders, cavernosal disorders, diseases such as hypertension, diabetes and multiple sclerosis. Sometimes, male impotence occurs as a side-effect of a treatment used for some of these diseases. Certain medications, usually selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, are known to cause problems with erection.

In large number of cases, male impotence arouses from psychological causes, such as stress or performance anxiety. It can also result from certain lifestyle habits such as smoking, for example. Smoking causes impotence because it promotes arterial narrowing, and therefore limits the blood flow to the penile area. Marijuana is also known to cause male impotence, since the chemicals from marijuana have the ability to replace acetylcholine in the nervous synapses.

The brain's acetylcholine and parasympathetic nervous functions are responsible for sustaining erection during sex. Another significant lifestyle factor is bicycling. According to most recent studies, men who spend more than three hours by riding a bike are at severely increased risk of erectile dysfunction.

Treatment of erectile dysfunction: Lifestyle changes

As already mentioned, many patients will be able to reverse their erectile dysfunction by making some simple lifestyle adjustments. A better lifestyle is often everything men will need for stronger erections. The most important step is to quit smoking, start exercising regularly, and reducing stress on the daily basis.

Regular exercise can improve your health in many ways and stress reduction alleviates negative emotions associated with performance anxiety and help the patients keep a positive attitude. Men who enjoy riding a bike should replace the classic seats with wide ones that are able to distribute pressure more equally. They are also advised to change their riding style and wear protective pants while riding.

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